September and October are known as the rainy months in Majorca. There is even a meteorological term for it: Gota Fria or the Cold Drop. But what happened in Sant Llorenç on Tuesday night took everyone by surprise. The emergency services were on full alert but in the space of a few minutes the area was devastated. The force of the rain just ripped the area apart as torrents burst leaving a wake of destruction. It was a tragic day in Majorca with a high death toll and people still missing. Three days of mourning have been declared. A major investigation into the incident is expected to be launched over the coming days and obviously there are many questions which need answering.

The prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, has said that he wants the area declared a disaster zone. This will mean that it would be able to benefit from additional funds because the clear-up operation is going to be extensive and costly. Sanchez visited the scene yesterday and he was said to be horrified at the extent of the damage. Twenty years ago, down the coast in Sa Coma, three people were killed in similar circumstances after heavy flooding. On this occasion the rain was even more severe and deadly. But praise should go to the island emergency services for all their hard work and dedication. As I said earlier, there are many questions which need answers but now is not the time. The rescue operation must continue and the hard work is just beginning.